Delusion is a potent drug. Like a narcotic, it enables the user to relieve the pain in their life and like a hallucinogen it provides escape into a more tolerable reality. Delusion offers relief for mankind when we need reprieve from the hardships and uncertainty in life. In modern times, we have made it a priority to remedy our addiction to delusion by seeking the truth in the world around us. However, despite our best efforts, delusion is always there, ready to provide escape when times get hard.
Today, western society finds itself wedged between two types of delusion that threaten our search for truth. The first type are the delusions of our past. These delusions preserve the customs and teachings of our predecessors by refusing to acknowledge new discoveries and adapt with new information. They manifest themselves through religion and tradition, promoting ideas that are no longer valid and persisting behaviors that are no longer necessary. Popular examples of these delusions are the denial of evolution in favor of creationism, the demonization of individuals for their sexual preferences and the belief that some races are superior to others. These delusions are dangerous, but familiar. These delusions have also slowly lost their grip on western civilization as we use science to increase our understanding of the natural world, as we preach tolerance of different walks of life, and as we make progress in improving our quality of life. The delusions of our past are not dead, but they are wounded.
Of greater concern is the second type of delusion, the delusions of our future. While the delusions of our past die off with older generations, the delusions of our future are strengthened with every new generation. While science and tolerance are effective tools that chip away at the delusions of our past, the delusions of our future use a guise of science and tolerance to deceive us into thinking that they are truth. Popular examples of these delusions are the denial of biological differences between women and men for the sake of acceptance, the promotion of unhealthy lifestyles in the name of body positivity, and the assertions that neutral liberal principles like equality are inherently racist based on charged narratives as opposed to objective evaluation.
Individuals that delude themselves, a.k.a. the delusional, justify their position as being necessary to achieve some greater good. The delusions of our past promise salvation if we ignore science and renew our faith in traditional views and practices. The delusions of our future promise absolute fairness by pretending physical truths are purely social constructs. Because of their desire for the greater good, the delusional will do whatever it takes to censor or discredit any information that contradicts their narrative. However, these greater goods are a net loss for mankind if they come at the expense of truth.
This is not to say we should deny people their right to be deluded, they may need to embrace the lie in order to cope with the world. The pious should be free to worship and people should be free to express the gender that fits them best. However, we should refrain from becoming deluded as a society. If we become a delusional society, then those that seek truth will be censored and persecuted since truth threatens their delusion. Let’s keep society grounded in the truth and allow individuals that need delusion to get their fix in the privacy of their personal lives.